Bossymamma’s Needle Has Been Flying!

Using fly stitch in several ways

Using fly stitch in several ways

When I joined the 2015 Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST) challenge, it had already been running for four weeks. The first stitch sampler I worked was the Herringbone Stitch for Week 5. It felt a bit wrong to be missing out the designated stitches of the first four weeks, so I determined that I would fit them in, as and when I could. Consequently, after finishing my Detached Chain Stitch sample earlier than expected, I began work the first week’s stitch: Fly Stitch.

I began by using the same square of patterned fabric upon which I had worked some detached chain stitching, to work some fly stitch. It had occurred to me that the pattern of the fabric could be highlighted using fly stitch on the leaves or petals. I didn’t know how successful it would be, but I thought it was well worth experimenting with it. This is a new departure for me. I have tended to be conservative in the way I use stitch, so actually daring to experiment is a huge step forward, creatively.

Flowers highlighted using fly stitch and detached chain stitch

Flowers highlighted using fly stitch and detached chain stitch

As you can see from the photo above, the two stitches give an entirely different effect. I’m sure each stitch would work well in the right situation. I think shall be adding to this extra mini-sampler when other stitches arise in the challenge.

Using fly stitch in geometric patterns

Using fly stitch in geometric patterns

Before I tried any more stitching, I turned to Pinterest and other websites, for inspiration. After the research, I began sewing my main sampler for fly stitch. Almost without thinking, I stitched the small design on the left, above. I then moved on to the star- or compass- type design on the right. I was interested in how changing the size of the final part of the stitch, changed the overall effect.

More geometric designs

More geometric designs

Next, I tried these two geometric designs which are both copies of some I saw whilst researching. Again, I was intrigued by the different effects achieved.

Traditional uses of fly stitch and a little playtime in pink

Traditional uses of fly stitch and a little playtime in pink

I moved on to work a few stitches of traditional fly stitch in turquoise, again, altering the size of the final part of the stitch. This really is a useful stitch! The leaf, in pink on the right of the picture, was stitched at the end, just using up the pink floss in my needle – hence the sparseness of the stitches.

Another use, inspired by a simpler design that I found online

Another use, inspired by a simpler design that I found online

I was really “on a roll” by this time. I had seen a photo online of fly stitch worked in a design similar to a Menorah and decided to take it a bit further, as you can see above. The result reminds me of patterns and designs that were popular in the 1970s.

Fairly traditional use of fly stitch

Fairly traditional use of fly stitch

Next, it was time to try another, fairly traditional, use of the stitch. Again, inspiration came from a picture I had found whilst researching. My interpretation is not a true copy of that which I saw as I accidentally made a small alteration to the design. I don’t think it matters that it’s not the same, as I think my version works just as well. It was also a good lesson about not having to follow others slavishly.

A "wall" of fly stitch

A “wall” of fly stitch

This was the point at which I quickly sewed the pink leaf before moving on to my final variation on this sampler: the “wall” of fly stitch. This is another useful design: I can imagine it being used as a filler or as a framework to be embellished, perhaps on some crazy patchwork.

I really enjoyed working with fly stitch: it certainly started my creative juices flowing. I’m sure there are lots more ways that fly stitch can be used. However, for the time being I want to keep my stitch samples small as I have an idea forming for how I shall store them. It is along the lines of the stitch books that Tilly Rose uses.

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